It’s very hard to get a Black Diamond to ripen up that’s
less than 20 lbs. Glad you were able to do it. It’s a special
The black plastic worked better than I expected. I think it’s the reason the melons are so much larger this year. Last year, the largest melon was about 22 lbs, and the others all averaged around 14 lbs. This year, I’m averaging between 25 and 30 lbs per melon.
Regarding the temps, once the vines run and cover the plastic, the plastic and the soil underneath won’t get so hot. The black plastic just allows you to get a jump on seed germination and plant growth earlier than normal–in my case nearly a full month earlier than the past two years. Recall, too, that watermelons came from Africa, so they are a hot weather crop.
Regarding the row of mounded soil, I basically applied the raised bed way of gardening and the Square Foot Gardening method to the row. I tilled the row last year and added a cubic yard of compost, some sphagnum moss for water retention, and vermiculite for soil looseness. This year, I added another two cubic yards of compost. So, it’s a raised bed without the box. This year, I also added drip irrigation, which was very nice to have.
Glad to see you finally showed up this year! And those watermelons look great! I was beginning to think you weren’t growing any this year
Thanks for noticing my absence. We got a late start this year, but we should have melons into October
Thank you sir, I will definitely be using some weed barrier next year. I will also be adding big stripe to my varieties. I will be keeping crimson sweet, Charleston gray, and jubilee improved. I’m getting rid of black diamond and sangria. Jade star still to be determined.
I will be keeping Jade Star(1st pic), this is definitely a sweet melon in Kansas. The other pic is Jubilee improved, a c
Janosik. 9.5 lbs. Excellent texture, but only moderately sweet.
Think watermelon quality has been suffering this year because of weather. Has been very dry here since about mid-July, and it’s starting to stress the vines; the melons themselves are on the puny side. Had a couple 40+ pound (and sugar-sweet!) Strawberries last year. Nothing close this year. Don’t have an irrigation set-up, so am probably going to have to hand water tomorrow. Well, at least I’ll get my exercise!
@JeremiahT, I might have to try that Janosik next year. It certainly looks good!
@ctduckhunter, those look great! I have been thinking about trying a Charleston Gray myself.
I’d certainly recommend giving Janosik a go—and I’m definitely growing it again next year. Had it for dessert today, and it tasted much sweeter after cooling in the fridge. And the texture: wonderfully crisp. Reminded me of some sort of shaved ice confection. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in a yellow watermelon! Even if the others out in the patch aren’t as good, it’s shown its potential----and I look forward to seeing what it can do in a good watermelon year.
I know I will be giving janosik along with big stripe and starbrite a go for me next year after hearing you and others favorites. This years melons are not done around here and already looking forward to next year.
How did that Tendersweet Orange taste? My first one, I threw into the compost pile. Here’s the second one. It’s just not juicy like the other melons. I just sliced up half of this for the fridge. The other half is about to turn into a smoothie.
I just picked a smaller one, which I’m chilling right now. We’ll see if it’s better than the first two. Next year, I’m going back to Gold Strike or OrangeGlo.
On a better note, here are three Big Stripes we just picked – 88 lbs total.
I just split open the middle one from that pic. I’m chilling it now to share with the neighbors.
I don’t eat it so I couldn’t say but everyone seemed to enjoy it at my house. If I could get orange gold seeds I would plant it for sure
Today I picked and ate my Galia melon. In the singular. Like, the only one. There should have been two vines, but one of them turned out to be another charentais. The only vine, the only fruit on it. A nice big one, a good one, but still.
Thank you very much for recommending Charleston Gray. This was picked around 85 days after planting. About 30 lbs and 20” long. Perfectly ripe. Brix was 12. Crisp, juicy and sweet. Can’t ask for a better melon.
All three look great! Congratulations!